Phil Foden scored a superb individual goal for England as Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s started the UEFA Under-21 Championship with an unfortunate 2-1 loss against France.
Foden, wearing the No.10 shirt, collected the ball just inside the France half before embarking on a mazy run that took him past four players before ending with a cool finish from 15 yards on 54 minutes.
The Blues’ teenage star put on a stellar show, with several thrusting runs past France players demonstrating the youngster’s rich promise throughout an impressive 90 minutes.
Foden’s goal, worthy of winning any contest, was snuffed out late on by Jonathan Ikone on 88 minutes with a tiring England reduced to ten men for the final 25 minutes of the opening Group C clash.
Then, deep into injury time, Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka scored a calamitous own goal to gift Les Bleus the victory.
England’s task had got that much harder after Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury’s was sent off for a dangerous foul on 65 minutes, but the French missed the resulting penalty – their second spot-kick miss of the game.
Earlier in the match, Moussa Dembele saw his penalty saved by Dean Henderson with 25 minutes played.
Though it looked like they might hang on with some desperate defending, England's luck eventually ran out.
The turning point was undoubtedly Choudhury’s dismissal, with England clinging on grimly until the 88th-minute and then again in the final minute of added time.
England must now look to win their final two group games against Croatia and Romania.
Foden said after the game: "We controlled the game until the sending off – it is all about learning and going into the next game with confidence
"It doesn’t matter about my goal that much because we lost the game, but we can still win our last two games and qualify."